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Arizona GOP candidates sue to block use of voting machines in upcoming midterms

Republican candidates for Arizona governor and secretary of state sued state and county officials to bar the use of electronic voting machines ahead of the midterm election in November.

In the federal complaint filed Friday and made available Monday, gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem claim an injunction to stop the use of voting machines is necessary since the “voting system does not reliably provide trustworthy and verifiable election results.” Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Lake and Finchem in their respective races.

Lake and Finchem want a federal judge to prohibit the use of electronic voting machines in the state in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections. They claim voting on paper ballots and hand-counting those votes is the only efficient and secure method for proceeding.

The candidates claim there is a history of voting machine failure in Arizona and abroad. Additionally, they contend state officials neglected security procedures and claim Dominion Voting Systems, a voting software company, lied and ignored a state legislative subpoena inquiring about the data relating to the 2020 presidential election in Arizona. Dominion is not named as a defendant in the complaint.

Lake announced the lawsuit at one of her political rallies in Morristown, Arizona, in March alongside the founder and CEO of MyPillow, Mike Lindell. Lindell teased a class-action suit at the rally, with over 300 plaintiffs supposedly committed.

“I’ve had lawyers work on this for five months,” Lindell said at the rally. “We’re getting county commissioners, county clerks, they’re all the plaintiffs, and we’ve already got about 300 on board. And we’re going to get rid of these machines once and for all for any election in history.”

Trump and his associates have attacked Dominion since the November 2020 election, claiming without evidence the company rigged its software to flip votes for Trump to now-President Joe Biden. Dominion has filed nearly a dozen defamation lawsuits over the claims, including against Lindell.

Lake and Finchem claim Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs certified obsolete software suites in the 2020 election, and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors maintained “secret content not subject to objective and public analysis.”

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There is no mention in the lawsuit of counting irregularities in Arizona counties. However, Lake and Finchem do cite the manipulation of databases in a Colorado county as a point of concern.

“On March 21, 2022, electronic database expert Jeffrey O’Donnell and computer science expert Dr. Walter Daugherty published a report concluding that ballots were manipulated in the unauthorized databases on the Mesa County server during Colorado’s November 2020 and April 2021 elections,” the complaint states.

Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, who is running for secretary of state in Colorado, faces felony conspiracy charges of election tampering. Prosecutors say that in addition to leaking voting machine passwords, Peters allowed unauthorized individuals to access voting equipment during a security update. Videos of the voting machine updates were broadcast over the social media site Telegram and the Gateway Pundit blog. This past week, a judge heard arguments on whether she should be allowed to oversee the 2022 election

Finchem and Lake say they have doubts about the honesty of Dominion leadership and the reliability of its voting system.

“Dominion CEO John Poulos stated that Dominion did not use SolarWinds,” they say in their complaint. In 2020, software company SolarWinds was breached by hackers who gained access to systems in federal agencies, Fortune 500 companies and at least three state governments.

“Dominion in fact did use SolarWinds,” the lawsuit continued. “Dominion’s website formerly displayed a SolarWinds logo, but that logo was removed.”

The pair also question Poulous’ honesty.

 “John Poulous, the CEO of Dominion Voting Systems, testified in December 2020 that Dominion’s election systems are ‘closed systems that are not networked meaning they are not connected to the internet,'” the lawsuit claims. “This is false.”

According to the complaint, Dominion refused a legislative subpoena relating to the Arizona Senate’s audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, claiming compliance would “cause grave harm” to Dominion.

On Saturday at a Trump rally in Ohio, Lindell said similar suits would be filed all over the country, with South Dakota slated next. Additionally, Lindell said he picked states because of their favorable attorneys general.

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Lake and Finchem are represented by Andrew Parker of Parker Daniels Kibort, Kurt Olsen and Alan Dershowitz.

The parties did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Finchem, who is running to be Arizona’s chief elections officer, recently faced a lawsuit from voters seeking to remove him from the ballot due to his connection to the Jan. 6 insurrection. Last week, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge tossed the complaint and two others against U.S. Representatives Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar, finding voters could not sue under the disqualification clause of the 14th Amendment.

The voters have since appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court.

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Michael McDaniel/Courthouse News

Kari Lake speaks to the audience at her gubernatorial rally in Morristown, Ariz., on March 5, 2022.